Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ RockM Nation has a list of Mizzou in the 00's: Worst Moments of the Decade, which includes:
Baseball: Louisville 16, Mizzou 6 (2007). Tim Jamieson's program had established some serious momentum through the middle of the otherwise craptastic-for-Mizzou decade, and it all built up to this. A year after making the Super Regionals in California, Mizzou hosted their first ever NCAA Regional. They beat Louisville on Saturday night and only had to beat the Cardinals one more time to make the Super Regionals against an extremely beatable Oklahoma State team. The College World Series was within their grasp. Then, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, Louisville beat Mizzou on Sunday with a late-game home run. And the next day, they scored eight (EIGHT!) first-inning runs off of future first-rounder Aaron Crow, pitching on basically 2.5 days' rest, and coasted to a regional victory. Quite the kick in the balls.

Fathers, Sons and Baseball

My Dad has never been an avid baseball fan, but he has always been a casual fan of the game. He enjoyed pitching slow pitch softball on a church league years ago. He would watch a game on TV if one happened to be on and he happened to be sitting in front of the TV.

He came with me once to a Mizzou Tigers game at Simmons Field, and the thing that made the biggest impression on him was what he called the "horrible umpiring".

He was responsible, though, for the early formation of my love of baseball, just as is true of so many other sons and their fathers.

When I was just a kid - probably 5 or 6 years old, there was a semi-pro team that played in a ballpark a mile or so from our house in Sioux City, Iowa. On occasional summer evenings when my Mom was at work at the local hospital, Dad took my two brothers and I to watch these games. Having been a parent of young boys myself, I now know that part of his motivation had to do with finding some way way to keep us occupied when he was left to supervise us on his own.

I remember almost nothing about those games on the field. But what I remember is how we ran around the bleachers, ate hot dogs and popcorn, occasionally paused in our fun to watch a few minutes of baseball. We played around with whatever other kids happened to be there.

In later years, when I took my own son to games at Simmons Field, I let him have the run of the ballpark, enjoying the experience his own way. He learned, like I did, to simply enjoy the atmosphere of a ballgame.

I remember that at one of those games I first experienced a moment of wonder that has been repeated many times again in my life. I'm talking about that moment that you're at a ball game and the sun has set and night has advanced around the bases unmolested, almost without notice. But then you look out at the field and realize the backdrop is dark and the light towers are brilliant. The green grass glows in the lights - even the brown dirt of the basepaths takes on a surreal quality.

And the players in the their white uniforms stand lit like guardian angels over the perfect and brilliant diamond.

It took my breath away as a child. It still takes my breath away.

I learned this morning that my Dad, who is almost 82, has a malignant tumor growing at the back of his brain, and it is inoperable and incurable. No one wants to put a date on it, but he may not survive the 51 days between now and the beginning of another MU Baseball season.

Thank your fathers for passing on their love of the game, and for all the other invaluable things they have bequeathed to you.

Don't wait for the extra innings. They are rare.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mizzou Baseball First Pitch Celebration

The Mizzou Baseball Team would like to extend a special invitation to the Sixth Annual Missouri Baseball First Pitch Celebration, on Jan. 15 at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center.

As another season approaches, we would like to recognize the many players who have contributed to the program's success. Come celebrate the beginning of a new season with one of the nation's top college baseball programs.

The celebration will include a celebrity guest speaker, food and drinks, a look back at the history, as well as a look ahead to the upcoming season of Missouri Baseball. The event will also include one of the most anticipated silent auctions in the Midwest, featuring Collegiate and Professional memorabilia.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the festivities getting underway at 7 p.m. Admission in s $20.

For more information or to register for the event, click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All Americans

■ Collegiate Baseball has released its 2010 Pre-season Louisville Slugger All Americans. No Mizzou players made the list. 3 Big 12 players made the 1st team.

Mizzou Baseball: Non-Conference Opponents

■ College Baseball Today has a good Q&A with Jim Schlossnagle, coach of the TCU Frogs, a team on Mizzou's 2010 Schedule.
If the season started today, there’s a good chance that Lockwood and Gerrish would probably start the season in some sort of bullpen role. And we’re talking about Lockwood, two years ago - if it weren’t for Strasburg - would’ve been the pitcher of the year in the Mountain West after going 9-2 with a great ERA and Gerrish, who ended up being our No. 1 starter at the end of last year and beat Texas in the Super Regionals. That’s two-thirds of our starters from last year’s team.
. . .

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

The Ian Kinsler Question (bbta.com)
Let's shove all of the equivocations aside for a moment and cut right to the chase: as the active roster currently stands, Ian Kinsler (03) is the Texas Rangers' best player. He's a sensational talent, a success story of the highest magnitude for the amateur scouting department -- and, even more specifically, for Rangers crosschecker Mike Grouse -- and one of the single biggest reasons why Texas has clearly transitioned from "rebuilding" to "win-now" mode.
. . .
What is relevant is, of course, the widely held belief that Kinsler's adoption of a more pronounced uppercut swinging motion was a prime contributer to his offensive downfall in 2009, as well as Kinsler's insistence that no facet of his hitting mechanics had materially changed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Big 12

When Turner Gill was named Kansas University’s new football coach, I told our desk people I thought we had an old black-and-white print of him in our photo files.

So I went to search one of the drawers in the large sports-department filing cabinet, found the G section, shuffled through some photos, and there it was — a picture of Gill playing shortstop for Nebraska in the early 1980s.

Here was one of the best quarterbacks in NU’s storied football history, and we had retained a picture of him playing baseball. Go figure.
. . .
When it comes to baseball, there are two categories of players — those who can hit, and those who can’t. And, like countless others before and after him, Gill fell into the latter category.

Gill played two summers for a Cleveland Indians farm team in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series and, to be frank, hit like a little leaguer — .189 in 1987 and .195 in 1988.

New Radio Package for MU Sports

Mizzou has signed a new sports radio package for local broadcasts in the mid-Missouri. Features include:
• KFRU and KBXR will no longer be the official stations for MU Football and Basketball. KFRU has been the flagship station for those MU sports for many decades. (KFRU to stop broadcasting Tigers games , Columbia Daily Tribune)

• The Zimmer Radio Group now has the rights to local broadcast of Mizzou sports. KCMQ (96.7 FM), KTGR (1580 AM), KWOS (950 AM), KFAL (900AM) and KKCA (100.5 FM) will simulcast all football, men's basketball, coaches shows and daily shows starting with the 2010-11 season.

• In addition, for the first time in school history, all baseball and women's basketball games will be heard on AM and FM. KTGR (1580 AM) and KKCA (100.5 FM) will air all games, starting with the 2010 Mizzou baseball season.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll

The Collegiate Baseball Fabulous 40 Pre-season Rankings are out. big 12 rival Texas nabbed the #1 spot. Missouri received votes, but did not make the Top 40.

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Rules of the Game

SEC uses pitch clock to shorten ball games (SI.com)
The Southeastern Conference is taking its swing at picking up the pace during baseball games.

The league's athletic directors approved changes for the 2010 SEC tournament including a 20-second clock between pitches when the bases are empty and a 90-second limit between half innings, spokesman Chuck Dunlap said.

It's a move designed to make tournament games both more fan- and TV-friendly.

If it gets good reviews during the tournament, where games routinely drag on for 3-plus hours, it could be implemented for the 2011 regular season as well.

"I think it's going to be good for everyone involved,'' Dunlap said. "If it does pretty much guarantee games under 3 hours, I can promise you the TV networks will push very hard to keep it in place.''

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

For minor league hopefuls, baseball is only a summer job (St. Louis Globe Democrat)

At Balls-n-Strikes, Mantle’s hardly alone. Aaron Jaworowski (95-97) one of the co-owners of the company, played in the minors for both the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees. He can relate to the troubles that minor leaguers face in finding work, and states that at least 75 minor leaguers have been employed at one of the five area franchises since its founding.

These minor leaguers in turn educate a future generation of St. Louis baseball players. According to the company’s website, 121 former students of Balls-n-Strikes have been drafted—including high profile picks such as Jacob Turner and Max Scherzer (04-06). Instructors such as Mantle no doubt helped them tremendously, and it’s a process he greatly appreciates.

“Teaching and simply being around the kids, watching them truly enjoy every minute, makes me realize how fortunate I am to still be playing the same game today,” he says.
. . .

Brock Bond's (06-07) current activities are also discussed in the article.

Polls & Rankings

THE NCBWA has kicked off the early pre-season polls & rankings season by releasing their 2010 Pre-Season All Americans. There are no Missouri Tigers on the list. Not only that, but there is only one Big 12 player on the first team, plus 2 on the 2nd team and none on the 3rd team.

Summer Bal
l

Garrison McLagan has signed to play his summer ball with the Cowlitz Black Bears of the West Coast League, according to TDN.com. The Black Bears are coached by former Tiger Bryson Leblanc (05-06).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Scherzer relishing new start (Columbia tribune)
Max Scherzer is well aware of the irony. He was once a Tigers star and is expected to be a Tigers star again.

“I’ve gotten a lot of texts pointing that out,” said Scherzer, the former Missouri ace who last week was involved in a seven-player, three team deal that landed him in Detroit.

Mizzou to the Big 10? Not if you're a baseball fan

BoydsWorld.com has RPI numbers going back to 1997 for NCAA Baseball. Looking at the historic data, let's see how many teams were in the top 25 for each of those years, for both the Big 10 and the Big 12.

1997: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 1

1998: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 2

1999: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 3

2000: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 4

2001: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 1

2002: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 3

2003: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 4

2004: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 2

2005: Big 10, 0; Big 12: 3

2006: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 4

2007: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 3

2008: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 4

2009: Big 10, 1; Big 12, 4

■ Big 12 and Big 10 in the College World Series (going back to 1997, the beginning of the Big 12):

• CWS Champions: Big 12, 2 (Texas in 2002 and 2005); Big 10: 0

• The last Big 10 champion in the CWS: Ohio State, 1966

• Total Big 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament, 1997-2009: 73

• Total Big 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament, 1997-2009: 25

• Total Big 12 teams in the CWS, 1997-2009: 12

• Total Big 10 teams in the CWS, 1997-2009: 0

Mizzou to the Big Ten?

More on the expansion of the Big Ten, and how it could effect Missouri:

Big Ten evaluating expansion to 12 teams

The Big Ten might be getting bigger.

The league said Tuesday it will explore options over the next 12 to 18 months for expansion. Big Ten presidents and chancellors decided this month that the timing is right to study adding a 12th school.

The Big Ten also looked at expansion in 1993, 1998 and 2003. Penn State was the last team to join in 1990, and Notre Dame rejected an offer in 1999.

The league, whose offices are in suburban Chicago, said no action on expansion is expected soon. It said it hopes to gather information before engaging in formal discussions with any schools.
. . .

"About every five years the Big Ten Conference explores the possibility of expansion," Illinois athletic Ron Guenther said in an e-mail to the AP. "Any expansion of the conference would obviously have to be a good fit academically, geographically and financially. If the Big Ten does make a change, I hope it will be as successful as the addition of Penn State."

Big Ten will mull expansion plans (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri athletics director Mike Alden said Tuesday via e-mail that "there isn't really any story here for us" and noted Mizzou hasn't heard from other conferences.
Alden did not specify whether MU would be interested in joining the Big Ten. The conference said it would not engage "formal discussions with leaders of other institutions during the 12 to 18 months it will study the matter."
. . .
Longtime MU donor and former university curator Donald Walsworth said the only reason he could see joining the Big Ten is because of its television contract. But Walsworth doesn't believe that's compelling enough.

"I think Missouri is where it should be," he said. "Personally, I can't see it being an advantage to us. … I think our fans would just be livid."

Current curator David Wasinger, who is based in St. Louis, said he didn't know enough to "have any feeling on the subject yet." But he said it did not come up in last week's regular meeting. Neither did any discussion of discontent with the Big 12.

He did not expect any movement to be driven by the board.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Mizzou to the Big Ten?

Over at Tigerboard.com there's a rather bizarre pair of posts that showed up this weekend, both promoting separate websites in favor of Mizzou switching to the Big 10.

http://www.mizzou-bigten.com/ is a single page

http://big10mizzou.blogspot.com/ is in a blog format, with more extensive arguments and the opportunity for readers to make comments


Both use the exact same banner masthead that pretty much rules out any expectation of lack of bias: Missouri + Big Ten Conference = Natural Fit

A natural fit unless, of course, you're a Baseball fan. The Big Ten is a 2nd-tier baseball conference at best. I'd rather be in the Missouri Valley than the Big 10, when it comes to baseball. But I'd really rather be in one of the top 2 or 3 baseball conferences in the NCAA: The Big 12.

I'm not too worried, though. I don't think there's much chance at all of this happening. No matter how many copy-cat websites people put on the interwebs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

■ In Minors far from the show (Columbia Tribune), Matt Nestor profiles former Tiger Garrett Broshuis (02-04)
“Early on, I was worried about my career,” said the 27-year-old Broshuis. “Now, I’m not as worried, so I can be a little more honest about my opinions. If no one talks about these things, it won’t be brought to light.”

Broshuis, who is currently applying to go to law school, recently ventured outside the game, writing an opinion piece about the health care bill for USA Today.
Equal time: We posted a link to Cody Ehlers' craigslist ad for batting instruction the other day. Now we've stumbled upon a website for Hunter Mense (04-06), baseballhunter.com, advertising similar services.
My next adventure came in the form of college. I signed to go to Mizzou as a pitcher/outfielder but only ended up being an outfielder. My freshman year was definitely a learning experience. I played sparingly and when I did play I was pretty inconsistent. I was struggling against guys that I should have been succeeding against. With about a month left in the season I dove for a ball in the outfield and tore a ligament in my thumb and consequently I was done for the rest of the season. That following summer I played for the Hays Larks in the Jayhawk league. I was able to play every day and re-discover my game. My sophomore year was a much more successful year. We were selected for a regional at Cal State Fullerton and I was named to the All Big XII team. I also impressed enough people to be selected to try out for the collegiate national USA team.
Big 12 Opponents
Kansas returns most of its starters from a season ago. Led by standouts like Tony Thompson and junior pitcher T.J. Walz, the Jayhawks should have strong leadership that will be essential to the team’s success.

“We’ve got lots of older guys coming back that will help set a good example for the young guys,” Thompson said.

The team will have some big holes to fill, though — most notably the graduation of catcher Buck Afenir and departures of shortstop David Narodowski and pitcher Shaeffer Hall, who both passed up their senior seasons to play in the MLB.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mizzou Baseball: 2010 Schedule

The MU Baseball office has posted the official 2010 schedule, which is not much changed from the 2010 schedule we previously posted here at SimmonsField.com.

The only change to the schedule is a match-up with Illinois at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, scheduled for April 7th at 7PM.

Now that it's official, we can take a look at that schedule and ask the question: How tough is MU's 2010 schedule?

Boyd Nation, at Boyd'sWorld.com, annually produces a list of Intended Schedule Strength, based on the final RPI or ISR numbers of each team on the upcoming schedule, averaged out to an intended average RPI.

Using that formula, and using the Boyd'sWorld.com final RPI numbers, I've compiled a list of the final 2009 RPIs of the teams on the tentative 2010 schedule, and averaged them out for an intended schedule strength of .540.

So what does that really mean, in terms we can understand? Two teams (UCLA and Sam Houston State) finished 2009 with an RPI of .540, placing in a tie for 70th place in Division 1 of the NCAA out of a total 300 teams.

Tim Jamieson's Intended Schedule Strength has been moving slowly upward over the past few years. This year sees a dip of just .001, a statistical blip that shows the Tigers are maintaining their level:

2010: .540
2009: .541
2008: .537
2007: .534
2006: .532
2005: .528
2004: .528

Part of this steady rise to the current level is due to the overall gradual strengthening of the Big XII conference from top to bottom. But it also reflects a willingness to schedule multiple contests against teams like TCU, Boston College, Auburn - and that extra game against the Longhorns.

The final 2009 RPI for the teams on MU's 2010 schedule (and Missouri's) 2009 RPI for comparison. Multiple games in (parentheses); 2009 Regional participants marked with *:

.629 Texas (x4)*
.607 Texas Christian *
.586 Texas A&M (x3) *
.586 Oklahoma (x3) *
.578 Kansas State (x3)*
.575 Oklahoma State (x3)*
.570 Boston College *
.570 Baylor (x3)*
.568 Auburn
.567 Missouri *
.554 Kansas (x4)*
.553 Gonzaga (x2)*
.546 Xavier (x3)*
.545 Eastern Illinois
.543 Missouri State (x2)
.540 Illinois
.532 Florida Atlantic
.530 Texas Tech (x3)
.520 Nebraska (x3)
.519 Houston
.508 New Mexico State
.508 Washington
.490 Purdue (x2)
.440 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (x2)
.428 North Dakota (x4)
.418 Southern Illinois Edwardsville
.410 Western Illinois

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Brock Bond (06-07) is among the Minor League players who will be included in the upcoming 2010 Topps Pro Debut Minor League Baseball Cards set.

Baseball America's John Manuel blogs about the Winter Meetings, and mentions spending time with a former Tiger
I got to meet Garrett Broshuis (02-04) and show him around yesterday, which was my treat. We were both impressed when A’s player personnel maven Billy Owens quoted his scouting report back to Garrett and remembered seeing him at the Big 12 tournament. Broshuis on the Giants’ Double-A roster, so he’s eligible for the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5.
Manuel also explains the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. (NOTE: Broshuis was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft this morning)

■ Speaking of which: Suitcase Chronicles: It's Raining Men is the latest blog entry from Brosh, who always has a point of view slightly outside the expected and usual:
I left the bar and walked up the steps to the press area. Here I found more men. Only a few female journalists scattered about. The whole place was a bratwurst fest that would've made any Oktoberfest proud.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps one needed a baseball background to perform most of these jobs. Then I thought about the number of front office posts filled by those without baseball skills. Baseball skills aren't always a prerequisite to perform certain front office jobs. The same could be said for journalists.

"Perhaps women simply don't want to work in baseball," I thought. So I began to look around for other signs of diversity. A few African-Americans; a couple of individuals of Asian descent . . . and that was it. The most shocking thing: almost no obvious Latinos.
■ If you live in the Tampa area and are looking for baseball hitting lessons from a former Tiger, check this out on CraigsList.com:
Hi my name is Cody Ehlers (01-04). Looking for hitting, fielding, or pitching lessons? I give lessons on Wednesdays and Sundays at Gaither High School's baseball field. I played first base in the Yankees farm system for 5 years, playing for two of those years in double A. I'm currently on a professional team in Chicago called the Lake County Fielders. My rate is $50 a lesson and all ages are welcome. Bundled and package deals are available. Email me for more information.

Mizzou Baseball Roster Notes: Neil Hugenberg, RHP


■ From ConnectTriStates.com:
Hannibal High alum Neil Hugenberg has made the Missouri Tiger Baseball roster as a walk-on. Tiger Assistant Evan Pratte tells KHQA that Neil still "has some work to do" this spring before securing a spot on the Traveling Squad, but that Neil has been some "very nice things" in his workouts. Not surprised a kid with a 93 mph fastball found a college home; but with Hugenberg's collection of skills, should a kid like this ever slip through the cracks as a walk-on?

With a fastball that clocked in the mid 90's and a sweeping, nearly unhittable curveball, Neal Hugenberg enjoyed a dominant, albeit injury-addled high school career at Hannibal.

Those same attributes are giving him a new lease on his baseball life.

KHQA has confirmed that Hugenberg has successfully walked on to the nationally regarded Missouri Tiger Baseball team. Mizzou Assistant Evan Pratte confirmed Neal's place on the Tiger Roster, complimenting "Big Neal" on doing "a lot of impressive things" during his workouts. Pratte says Neal still has some work to do this spring before he cements a spot on the traveling roster, but the Tigers are weighing Hugenberg as a right-handed bullpen option.

He's back on top (Hannibal Courier-Post, April 30, 2009)

It has been a long year-and-a-half for Neil Hugenberg.

By his own admission, there was a time when the Hannibal senior pitcher did not think he would ever get to stare down a batter from the mound again.
Rewind to April 2, 2008. Hugenberg had been fighting what he would soon find out was an extra half of a vertebrae in his back that was causing him increasing amounts of pain. It became so bad at one point that he left the ’07-’08 basketball season in hopes of salvaging his baseball season.

“I would ice my back after each game,” Hugenberg said. “But, by halftime up at Borgia at the Thanksgiving Tournament, I just couldn’t go back out.”

Few would argue that he didn’t have good reason for doing so. Hugenberg’s skill on the mound had been affirmed just a year prior when he was named as an All-State pitcher, sporting a .48 ERA.

But after what the senior described as “the slowest double ever” against the Hickman Kewpies, it became clear that the sacrifice had been in vain.

“I went to put my hands on my knees and I couldn’t straighten back up,” he said. “It was just spazing out. I thought it was over.”
. . .
And Hugenberg has certainly made it look easy this season. In his past two starts, he has struck out a combined 31 batters – 17 against the Mexico Bulldogs and 14 against the Boonville Pirates. And with the district tournament right around the corner, Graham said he knows just who he will go to in those clutch situations.

“[Neil is] just that type of pitcher,” Graham said. “… Teams know that if Hugenberg is on the mound, it is going to be a battle. … He wants to be in those big games. As a pitcher, you’ve got to want the ball in the big situations and you’ve got to want to be the man for your team and that’s what Neil does.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors


Commentary on the mega-trade that sent Max Scherzer (04-06) to the Detroit Tigers

Bernie's 5 minutes (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

This should be a beneficial move for Scherzer, who will like pitching roughly half his games at spacious Comerica Park in Detroit. Arizona’s home ballpark is a haven for hitters; Scherzer’s ERA on the road over the last two seasons is 3.67.

Right-hander Max Scherzer is a dynamite pitching talent who throws just about as hard as Edwin Jackson and whom some believe can almost immediately replicate what Jackson can.

. . .But his problem is the lack of a third pitch, not unlike Jeremy Bonderman's missing piece: Scherzer's got that hard fastball and a slider -- that's either "dominant or mediocre," according to Baseball Prospectus' 2009 season preview -- but little else can be trusted.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Max Scherzer traded to the Detroit Tigers

St. Louis native Scherzer moved in biggest deal yet (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The first blockbuster deal of the winter will ship Detroit Tigers All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees in a three-team swap that will also pry St. Louis native and former Mizzou All-American Max Scherzer (04-06) out of Arizona
Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch sure wasn't going to spill the beans on the megadeal that apparently just got completed moments ago, but he was peppered with some questions about players reportedly involved.

Here's what he had to say about right-hander Max Scherzer, 25, one of the guys heading from Arizona to Detroit:

"Max's progression is good. Starting off in the bullpen when he first got up to the big leagues and getting through that year, last year he got up to 170 innings which, for a young starter, is a nice leap for him.

"We had tried really hard to get him to his inning totals. A year before, we sent him to the Arizona Fall League to increase his innings totals. So he went form somewhere in the 130s to 170 last year and had a very good year.

"If you toss a start or two that imploded on him, he was a bonafide guy for us. And we like him. He's a guy that has room to grow and he took some steps forward this year."

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Max Scherzer (04-06) is a hot topic on the MLB Hot Stove, reportedly part of a deal in the works that could send Max to the Detroit Tigers. Or the Yankees. Or somewhere.

The D-backs were closing in on a blockbuster three-way trade with the Tigers and Yankees on Tuesday that would bring pitchers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona and send away pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth, according to sources.

The Yankees reportedly would receive center fielder Curtis Granderson and send left-hander Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit

MLBTradeRumors.com: Heyman tweets that an agreement has been reached, with only medicals pending. We'll do a fresh post once this trade is official.

ESPN.com's Winter Meetings Live says the deal is on the verge of being wrapped up

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Andreas Plackis shares his Top 5 Sports Movies on WeAreMizzou.blogspot.com. Apparently Hyena Fighting is a sport.

Garrett Broshuis (02-04)blogs about his Expectations for the Winter Meetings:
Mr. Selig will arrive riding an Indian elephant—perhaps sporting a flowing robe and giant turban, riding atop the elephant with back straight and arms crossed. Scantily clad, masked dancers will accompany him, and bongo drums and rhythmic chants will scream in the background. He’ll slide down the elephant’s tail, be fed grapes from the hand of a dancer, and pronounce the beginning of the games. All the while I’ll be eating a corndog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ As reported here earlier, former Mizzou first baseman Cody Ehlers (01-04) was selected by the Lake County Fielders (Zion, IL) in the Northern League expansion draft. You might be interested to know that the owner of the Lake county Fielders is none other than Kevin Costner. From the lakecountybaseball.com home page:
“I've seen many opportunities over the years to be involved in baseball projects, but this one is really special. The location, the people involved, and the chance to offer families in Zion and the surrounding communities a quaint and affordable setting for minor league baseball means everything. Like that unforgettable movie line says, ‘This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.’ Play Ball!” ~ Kevin Costner, Owner

Saturday, December 5, 2009

KU Baseball gets the national attention it deserves

That wonderful video featuring the Kansas Jayhawk baseball players that we posted here a couple of weeks ago has caught the attention of none other than Sports Illustrated. Check out SI's current Extra Mustard page, which highlights the KU vid as the Embarrassing Team Video of the Day.


What were they thinking?

Thanks to the vigilant fans at Tigerboard.com for the tip.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Jayce Tingler (00-03) who had been managing for the Rangers in the Dominican Republic, has been promoted to manager of the Arizona Rookie League team with a coaching staff of Ryan O'Malley, Jose Jaimes, Hector Ortiz and Oscar Bernard. (texas.rangers.mlb.com)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mizzou Baseball: Slow News Day

■ Did you know the Big 12 Missouri Tigers aren't the only Missouri Tigers Baseball team? There is also a Missouri Tigers Club Team.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mizzou Baseball: Slow News Day

■ It's a slow news day (December is a slow news month), SO I find myself wandering the internet looking for anything of slight interest. Such as this Team Photo of the 1907 Missouri Tigers Baseball team. Gotta love the socks. And wouldn't you like to see Coach Jamieson decked out like the 1907 coach?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Compliance: NCAA Transfer Rules

■ From Rick Allen's InformedAthlete.com:
Sorry, you need to transfer to another school if you want to get playing time.

That's the last thing a player wants to hear from his coach. Yet, it happens more frequently than you might suspect. And it will happen more frequently now that the NCAA has reduced the number of players who can be on a Division I baseball roster.

Join us for our FREE teleseminar when we discuss the issue of transfers:

Day: Wednesday, December 2nd
Time: 7 PM, CDT

More Details and Free Registration

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Brock Bond (06-07) the second-coming of Wade Boggs? Check out this MLB.com message board discussion of Brock Bond, where he is compared to not only Boggs, but also to David Eckstein, Crash Davis and Brian Horwitz (?):
• I can't see Bond being much at the MLB level. He smells like a career minor-league guy....a slap hitting Crash Davis.

• Look at the numbers Boggs produced...and at what age...in the minors. Boggs was an eagle eyed "slap-hitter", too...and eventually developed a decent power stroke. I'm NOT saying Bond is the next Wade Boggs, but their minor league profiles certainly are similar. If Bond goes to Fresno and lights it up there...why not?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruit: Rob Zastryzny, LHP/OF/DH

Rob Zastryzny, LHP/OF/DH
6'2", R/L
Calallen HS (Corpus Christi, TX)

■ 2009 Pitching stats: 9-4, 2.25 ERA, .194 BA, .290 OBP, 71.2 IP, 269 BF, 237 AB, 32 R, 23 ER, 46 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 SF, 0 SH/B, 30 BB, 98 K, 2 HBP, 2 WP, 1088 #P, 0 SV, 14 APP, 7 CG, 4 SO

■ 2009 Offensive Stats: .325 AVG, 40 G, 134 PA, 114 AB, 39 R, 37 H, 40 RBI, 13 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 1 SF, 16 BB, 16 K, 3 HBP, .418 OBP, .605 SLG, 13/14 SB

■ 2009 All South Texas Team (2nd team)

■ 2009 All District Pitcher and Designated Hitter

Callallen's Zastryzny pitches perfect game in playoff win (caller.com, 5/17/2009)

Zastryzny (8-2) turned in an efficient performance for his first career perfect game. He struck out nine of the 15 batters he faced, throwing 68 pitches, 46 of which were strikes. Zastryzny ran the count full on only two batters.

“My fastball was spotting up on the outside and, with my slider, I was getting them to chase it,” Zastryzny said.

■ Callalen HS was ranked #17 in the 2009 ESPN Fab 50

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ Both Aaron Crow (05-07) and Andrew Johnston (05) are included in Baseball America's list of How fast do they throw? Max and average velocities for everyone in the AFL
Thanks to the Pitch F/X data that is being gathered at several Arizona Fall League sites, we have consistent pitch data that has never been available for prospects before. So if you want to know who’s the hardest and softest tossers in the AFL, now we know.

• Aaron Crow: 95.5 Max / 92.72 Avg

• Andrew Johnston: 93.4 Max / 91.42 Avg

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

■ MU alum Ian Kinsler (03) showed up on the American League MVP ballot. As told by Baseball Time in Arlington:
Ian Kinsler received a single 10th-place vote and rolled to a 27th-place finish, despite pulling off that oh-so-coveted 30-30 season and posting an overall 4.6-win campaign.

Mizzou Baseball: Summer Ball

■ The San Luis Obispo Blues have received commitments from three current Tigers for the summer of 2010:
• Brannon Champagne
• Dane Opel
• Kale Gaden


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruits

■ The Detroit News chimes in with Divine Child baseball player earns scholarship to Missouri
Pitcher/shortstop Myles Smith of Dearborn Divine Child has earned a scholarship to play baseball at Missouri. Smith hit .390 with six homers, 13 doubles and 27 RBI for Divine Child last season. He also had a 7-2 record as a pitcher, with 47 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Smith chose Missouri over Michigan State, Central Michigan, Arkansas and Georgia Southern

■ San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg (#1 overall draft pick in June 2009) surrendered only 5 home runs in his collegiate career. The second of those was given up to San Diego's Nick McCoy, brother to 2010 Mizzou recruit Zack McCoy. Video of the dinger on YouTube.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mizzou Baseball: Summer Ball

■ I'm told that three current Tigers have committed to play their 2010 summer ball with the Cowlitz Black Bears of the West Coast League, coached by former Tiger Bryson LeBlanc:

• Garrison McGlagan
• Andreas Plackis
• Andy Heifner

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Bryson Leblanc (05-06) is the head coach of the Cowlitz Black Bears of the West Coast League (a summer wood bat league). TDN.com has article about his first signee, with quotes from the former Tiger.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ ESPN's Jason Gray has scouting reports on a select group of pitchers he saw in the Arizona Fall League, including former Tiger Aaron Crow:
Aaron Crow: Crow hit 94 mph for me with a solid mid-80s slider, and also showed a better change than I expected, with sink and fade. That will be a key pitch for him against left-handed batters. Considering how much he's pitched in the past two years after being a very high pick in the draft two years in a row, he looked fine and should move quickly. His wrist wrap/curl in the back during his delivery is bothersome, though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruit: Michael Franco, 3B/RHP


Michael Franco, 3B/RHP
5'9", 170 lb, R/R
Moody HS (Corpus Christi, TX)

2009 Offensive Stats: .395 avg, 6 hr, 47 rbi, 42 r

2009 TXSWA All-State Class 4A 3rd Team


■ Franco's team, Moody HS, was ranked 14th in ESPN's final 2009 Fab 50 High School teams

Meza kept the attack going with a basehit and Matt Franco singled to left, chasing Hoelscher from the mound with five straight hits allowed and no outs. After Travis Neslony replaced Hoelscher, Moody worked a sacrifice and a sacrifice fly to move ahead 4-0.

Although Calallen closed the gap in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Matt Garza, Moody lengthened its lead with six runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Franco hit a solo shot to left field with one out and Randy Rodriguez followed with a basehit. After a walk to Geraldo Gutierrez, A.J. Longoria singled to plate Franco
.

Moody's Franco signs with Missouri (caller.com)

The District 30-4A first-team pick hit .418 with 42 RBI, 12 doubles and six home runs a year ago. He also provided a solid defensive presence at the hot corner and played a key part in Moody’s run to the state tournament.

Franco is expected to lead the way back this season.

“I told him we’re going to jump on his back and go for a ride,” coach Corky Gallegos said. “He’s our leader and we look for him to lead by example. He certainly does that. He’s out there getting dirty and showing younger players how to do things.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruits

DC Trio signs to play college ball (pressandguide.com)

Some valuable autographs were signed last Wednesday at Divine Child.

Seniors Myles Smith, Jeremy Shay and Anthony DiPaolo all inked National Letters of Intent to play college baseball in a ceremony held in the school lobby and attended by a number of classmates, teachers, coaches, friends and family members.
. . .

Smith became the first DC athlete to sign with a Big 12 school when he opted to head to Missouri.

He has been a major contributor for the past two years as a pitcher and shortstop for the Falcons and said he will continue to play both positions at the next level.

“They told me I’d be doing both,” he said. “They’re a young, up-and-coming team right now and I really liked the atmosphere down there when I visited the campus.

“It seems like a great place to be.”

Smith said he plans to major in business with a minor in psychology.

In the meantime, he still has some work to do before leaving DC.

“As Jeremy can attest, I still need to improve my control a little,” Smith said with a nod to Shay, who sometimes has to put his catcher’s equipment to the test chasing fastballs in the dirt. “There are always some things you can work on.”

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruits

Franklin senior Ian Ekery signs with Missouri (El Paso Times)

Wearing the black and gold of the University of Missouri, Ekery signed with the Tigers on Monday as he sat between his parents, Alan and Adj, in the Franklin library.

"It's amazing; it's almost surreal," Ian Ekery said. "You almost can't put this into words. I've dreamed of playing college baseball all my life, since I was a kid, and getting to go to the Big 12 and have an opportunity like this, it's amazing."

. . .

Success helped garner interest from several colleges -- such as Texas A&M and UCLA -- but Mizzou captured the youth's heart.

"Basically, a lot of schools in big cities tend to get lost in the town, as another part of what there is to do in the town, whereas at Mizzou, you got a little over a third of the town's population going to the school," Ian Ekery said. "Everyone's at the football game. The city life revolves around the college and college athletics."



Monday, November 16, 2009

You Make the Call: Which Tiger newcomers will have the greatest impact?

Our previous poll finished this weekend, with Aaron Crow winning decisively over his competition for the MU alum most likely to make the Show. It's time to move on.

Our new pair of polls asks which Tiger newcomers will have the greatest impact on the team. One poll asks about this year's talented freshman class; the other poll asks about an impressive collection of JuCo transfers.

Many fans have read a lot about these players; many have seen them play in practice or during the Fall World Series. Others may be familiar with these newcomers from following them before their Tiger careers began. Others will make up their mind on this poll based on sharing a last name with their favorite new Tiger.

Whatever drives your voting, it's all up to you. Cast your vote in the left-hand column now through the end of 2009. Supposedly you can only vote once, but history has shown it's not that hard to get around the restrictions. So vote early, vote often.

You may vote for more than one player.

Last year's winner of this poll (we tossed the freshmen and transfers in together last year) was Ryan Gebhardt.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2010 Recruit: Dillon Everett, SS


Dillon Everett, SS
5'11", 185 LB; S/R
Horizon, AZ


2009: .333 Avg, 27 GP, 90 AB, 23 R, 30 H, 19 RBI, 7 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 16 BB, 14 K, .434 OBP, .544 SLG%, 4 SB

• USA Baseball 2009 Mountain West National Team

• 1st team All-5A II Pima Region

• Arizona ‘92’s National Team Identification Series in Salt Lake City

Perfect Game Scouting Report:

Dillon Everett is a 2010 MIF with a 5'11'', 180 lb. frame from Scottsdale, AZ who attends Horizon. Strong athletic build, well-developed, switch-hitter, RH-strength in swing, balanced, quiet hitting approach, bat has some juice, LH-smooth swing, barrels the ball up well, ball jumps off the bat, stays inside the ball, good raw power, hammered ball to the fence during a game, runs well, 7.02 sixty, short clean arm action in the field, good range, solid actions, strong student, good all-around player.
From AZTeenMagazine (September 2007):

Although the youngest of this group, Dillon Everett hasn't let his age stop him. In fact, Everett left our overnight photo shoot to go tend to his baseball duties, catching absolutely zero sleep the night before. As shortstop on his Horizon High’s varsity squad as well as the Angel Scout Team, which is basically a stepping stone to playing in the major leagues, Dillon doesn’t see baseball as simply a pastime.

“I love everything about the game. Not only is it exciting, but it is a game that forces me to stay focused and pay attention," he says.

Dillon’s secret for baseball success and carrying a 4.25 GPA is not as obvious as one might think: “Stay close with your family.” Dillon plans to attend college to earn a degree in business and pursuit of a career as a professional baseball player.

Along his path, Dillon is always strengthened and inspired by his love for God. He is an active member at Living Stream Church and is in regular attendance with his family. What separates him from the masses is that he doesn’t care what others think and can make his decisions on his own. Some lasting advice this All-American poster child has for azTeen readers: “Make good choices, be patient, and do the right thing because it always pays off in the end, no matter how long it takes.”

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Crow closes AFL stint with a gem (mlb.com)
Despite a shaky start to his pro career, when Royals prospect Aaron Crow walked off the mound at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, he left the crowd with little doubt as to why he was the 12th overall pick in this year's Draft.

After allowing a one-out double in the opening frame, Crow retired the final 11 batters he faced in a four-inning outing that best illustrated what all the hype has been about concerning the highly touted right-hander. In his final Arizona Fall League start, Crow struck out four and didn't issue a walk, falling short of a win as the Rafters fell to the Scottsdale Scorpions, 4-2.

"I think just the last couple times out [I was] just missing up a lot," Crow said of the 0-2 record and 7.92 ERA he had in his previous three AFL starts.

"Being out there and being on a scheduled routine and facing hitters every [start] and every week and focusing on keeping the ball down, it's been a lot easier to do
when you're in a routine."

Crow's rhythmic approach worked wonders on the Scorpions, as he consistently worked off of his cutting fastball to set up his off-speed stuff. He exited after throwing 39 of 54 pitches for strikes.

Project Prospect has video of Aaron Crow on the mound on November 9th

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mizzou Baseball alums nominated for MU Athletics Hall of Fame

Six new inductees chosen for 2009 class of MU Athletics Hall of Fame (ColumbiaMissourian.com)

  • Ryan Fry, a Missouri baseball player from 1995-1998 who was a 2nd-Team All-American in 1998, and was a two-time Academic All-American.

  • 1964 Baseball Team, which finished the season as the national runner-up and posted a 27-5-1 record

The group will be inducted January 22 in Columbia.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100 Days Until the 2010 Season Begins


Yes, folks, it's only 100 days until Mizzou Baseball !!!



"The good time is approaching.
The season is at hand
When the merry click of the two-base lick
Will be heard throughout the land.
The frost still lingers on the earth, and
Budless are the trees,
But the merry ring of the voice of spring
Is borne on every breeze."
The Sporting News, 1886

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Mizzou Alumni

■ Former Tiger catcher J.C. Field (05-06) gets a mention in Bison-Sioux set to play in baseball (GrandForksHerald.com)

MU in the Majors

Rangers bring sunshine to ballpark (Dallas News.com) highlights some of Ian Kinsler's (03) fine charity work
"I definitely enjoiy having these kids around," Kinsler said. "They really are a great group of people. It the next step is to be more involved on a bigger level, it's something that there is no way I could say 'no'."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2010 Recruit: Zack McCoy, SS


Zack McCoy, SS

Zach McCoy has changed his mind and will not be playing for Mizzou (2/3/10)

6'0", 165 lb, R/R
Westview HS (San Diego, CA) -- 2009 Valley League champions

■ 2009 Stats: .333 Avg, 28 GP, 87 AB, 17 R, 16 RBI, 10 2B, 0 HR, 8 BB, 19 K, .385 OBP, .448 SLG%; 5/6 SB


YouTube video of McCoy taking fielding and batting practice

■ 2009 All Valley League 2nd Team SS

■ Older brother Nick plays baseball at the University of San Diego


We are currently compiling a list of 2010 recruits that have made a verbal commitment to Mizzou. If you have more information about these players, or if you hear of a player who has made a commitment to MU, please let us know at simmonsfield@hotmail.com

2010 Recruit: Ian Ekery, LHP/1B


Ian Ekery, LHP/1B
R/L, 5'11", 185 lb
El Paso Franklin HS (TX)

2009 Stats

• Pitching: 6-3, 2.85 ERA, 10 GP, 9 GS, 59.0 IP, 31 R, 24 ER, 53 H, 22 BB, 6 HB, 2 IBB, 75 K, 6 CG, 0 SV, 1.27 WHIP, 5 WP

• Offense: .419 BA, 31 GP, 29 GS, 93 AB, 13 R, 39 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 25 RBI, 8 BB, 10 K, 2 HBP, 3/5 SB, .552 OBP, .495 SLG%

■ 2009 All-District 1st Team Pitcher

■ Scouting videos of Ekery:

Ian Ekery at Packard Stadium

Ian Ekery 17U AABC Don Mattingly

Ian Ekery vs. Waxahachie HS

■ Bio at LeagueLineup.com

■ 2009 Summer ball and Fall showcases with Albuquerque Baseball Academy and the Metro Scout League

■ Ekery is also a budding sportswriter, posting articles for the Franklin High School Chronicle
We are currently compiling a list of 2010 recruits that have made a verbal commitment to Mizzou. If you have more information about these players, or if you hear of a player who has made a commitment to MU, please let us know at simmonsfield@hotmail.com

Early Signing Period Begins Wednesday

Recruiting

The early signing period for recruits to sign a National Letter of Intent is November 11-18.

Mizzou Baseball will no doubt be collecting signatures from another fine class of recruits, as usual. Also as usual, there will be no press release listing those recruits, as is the standard practice of Coach Jamieson and staff.

We've already collected a short list of verbal commitments, and continue to search for additional names to add to the list.

This is where you come into the picture. While we stumble on a number of MU Recruits through a ridiculously obsessive scouring of the internet, much of the information we receive and post comes from readers like you: former players, families of players and fans across the nation. If a player in your part of the country commits to the Tigers, you're likely to hear about it in your local media before the news trickles back to me.

So send us the names, links and any other info you hear about new recruits, and we'll do our part to dig up whatever additional details we can find.

It may be the off-season for baseball, but the hot stove never cools off here at SimmonsField.com.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Taylor Stadium

MUTigers.com has a full update (with pictures) on Construction in Full Swing at Taylor Stadium. Photos show the new scoreboard, the framework of the new indoor practice facility, and the beginnings of the new brick wall that will will border the field around the foul lines.

MU in the Minors

MASNSports.com has a review of the Frederick Keys 2009 Pitchers, including Rick Zagone (05-07), with some frank comments from Keys manager Richie Hebner:
"A crafty lefty, not overpowering. He'll repeat in Frederick I would think. He's got to be just right. When we first got him, watching him pitch was like watching grass grow.

"I told him 'you got to pick it up.' He did and started to pitch better. One night I told him 'when you pitch we have to stop the game in the 5th and cut the grass, that's how slow you're pitching.'"
Andrew Johnston (05) is scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Showcase this Saturday. Details at Colorado.Rockies.MLB.com

Garrett Broshuis (02-04) has a new entry in his Suitcase Chronicles: Answering the Mail (baseballamerica.com).
Why do baseball players spit? I found that the submandibular glands produce
over 70 percent of human saliva. Well, apparently throwing a baseball is
directly linked to overactive glands. The repeated internal rotation of the
shoulder stimulates these glands, resulting in increased growth and increased
saliva output. It's similar to an overactive bladder. We can't control it, and
it's actually embarrassing. The result: We spit more than camels.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2010 Recruit: Myles Smith, RHP/SS


Myles Smith,
6'2", 175 lb, R/R
Dearborn Divine Child HS (Dearborn, MI)


2009: 7-3 with a 2.15 ERA and 71 strikeouts. Batted .315 with 15 runs, three homeruns and 18 RBI.

■ From hognation.net:

Attended the Perfect Game Mi. Lakeshore State Showcase in 2006. {Rated a 7.5}

PG REPORT: Athletic actions in IF, good range, moves through the ball, hits from a narrow stance, good bat speed, line drive swing plane, pitches from a 3/4 arm slot, long and loose arm action, minimal effort, balanced and online delivery, keeps FB down, good presence for a young player, good student.

Attended the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase in 2006. {Rated an 8.5}

PG REPORT: Named to Top Prospect Team. Lean athletic body, aggressive swing, short to ball, bat speed, centers ball well, loose arm, good angles to ball, good actions, arm strength, 80 IF, 3/4 arm slot, lively arm, drop and drive, high upside, solid run on FB, FB 78-81, CH 69, must follow, excellent student, 4.0 gpa.

Attended the Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase in 2008. {Rated a 9.5}

PG REPORT: Plus athletic build, loose with projectable strength. 2-way prospect. Middle infield actions, very good arm strength, quick hands, quick reactions, plays with balance and flair. 7.01 runner. Good load hitting, loose extended swing, good bat speed, tends to collapse back side/affects contact, tools to hit with adjustments. Also pitches, easy delivery, loose arm, FB steady at 86-88 mph, good spin on 11/5 curveball, more velo there with pitching repetitions.

#94 in the PGCrossChecker rankings of the Top 500 High School Prospects for 2010 on February 20, 2009.

Threw a complete game two-hitter (1 run) on 4/23/09. Had one single, one triple, two runs and four RBI on 4/25.

• Perfect Game USA 2nd Team All-American, 2009

ESPN Rise All Area Greater Detroit, 2009


We are currently compiling a list of 2010 recruits that have made a verbal commitment to Mizzou. If you have more information about these players, or if you hear of a player who has made a commitment to MU, please let us know at simmonsfield@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Royals' Crow hit hard in second AFL start (mlb.com)
. . . But as the Kansas native is quickly finding out, it's a steep learning curve from college standout to professional pitcher. While Crow's command was better in his second start Tuesday afternoon, his location was actually too good. The No. 12 overall pick in this year's Draft was hit up for four runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings, taking a no-decision in his Surprise Rafters' 6-5 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
Big 12 Opponents

■ Baseball America has a Fall Ball News Roundup, including some tidbits on MU opponents:

• Texas is moving hulking outfielder Kevin Keyes to first base, which could open up an outfield spot for freshman Cohl Walla.

• Junior college transfers could make a big difference on the mound for Texas Tech.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mizzou Baseball History: Andrew Mueller's baseball legacy

Mueller family baseball: Like great-grandfather, like grandfather, like father, like son (Columbia Missourian)

Baseball has a romantic history of being handed down, generation to generation, father to son.

A Columbia family has been part of that. Eric and Andrew Mueller represent the fourth generation of baseball players. Their father, Mark Mueller, played in the minor leagues in the early 1970s. Their grandfather, Don Mueller, played in the major leagues in the 1940s and 50s. Their great-grandfather, Walter Mueller, played in the major leagues in the 1920s.

Eric Mueller played four years for St. Louis University. Andrew Mueller is in his last season as a pitcher at Missouri. He expects to return soon after undergoing knee surgery in May.

The Muellers’ story begins with a historic home run.
. . .

Andrew Mueller, who is three years younger than his older brother, switched to pitcher after his junior year of high school at Hickman. The Kewpies won the state championship his senior year, and Andrew Mueller closed out the championship game.

. . .

Andrew Mueller recorded a nine-pitch strikeout on a curveball to end the game. The rest of the Kewpies came onto the field for the celebratory dog pile. Andrew Mueller ranks that, as well as his start against Arizona State this season, as his favorite baseball moments.

Read the entire story HERE

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Compliance & Recruiting

Rick Allen, father of former Tiger Ryan Allen (07-09), has released his latest Informed Athlete newsletter. Some highlights:

• College Coaches Online (www.collegecoachesonline.com) is an affordable, searchable database that allows you to find coaches names, addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers quickly and easily. Passcode for a discount available on Rick's newsletter.

• While I believe that there are many athletes taking supplements, I don't believe that the number is 90 percent. I do believe, however, that athletes and parents need to be very careful about researching the supplements that they take.
With that in mind, high school athletes and parents may want to consult the NCAA list of banned substances as a resource. Keep in mind that in discussing such things as nutritional supplements, energy drinks, and the like, the NCAA uses the terms "banned substances" and "impermissible substances."

• We provide the NCAA recruiting calendars along with important dates related to ACT and SAT testing as a special benefit to our newsletter subscribers.
The link to access the calendars is: NCAA Recruiting Calendars. Both the November and the December calendars are now online and available to you.

• For more information: http://www.informedathlete.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors & Minors

What's next for Ian Kinsler (ESPN.com)
Kinsler did hit 31 home runs in 2009. Was this because he was hitting the ball harder, though? Or was it because he was hitting the ball differently? Yes, Kinsler's line-drive percentage was easily the lowest of his career. But his fly-ball percentage was easily the highest of his career. Isn't it possible that he was consciously going for more fly balls and home runs? And even if he wasn't, doesn't it seem likely that he can't have it both ways? That if his line-drive percentage comes back up -- and with it, his batting average -- his fly-ball percentage will come down? And with it, his home runs?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

You Make the Call: Which Tiger alum has the best shot at making The Show?

For the past 2 months we've had a You Make the Call poll in the left-hand column, asking the question "Which MU alum has the best shot at making it to the Major Leagues"? The top 3 vote-getters were:
• Kyle Gibson (huge lead in 1st place)
• Brock Bond
• Evan Frey
At the time that poll was begun, Aaron Crow had not yet signed with the Royals, so we left him off the list. Now that he has signed, and has made his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League, it's time for
You Make the Call: The Final Round

Our top three vote-getters in the original poll are listed along with Aaron Crow. This poll will only last 2 weeks, so start stuffing the ballot box now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mizzou Baesball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Royals' Crow up and down in pro debut (MLB.com)
Aaron Crow (06-08) walked the first batter he faced, Lance Zawadzki, before settling in to retire eight straight. Zawadzki ended the streak with a solo homer with two outs in the third.
"I need to work on getting the ball down and my command of the strike zone," the Kansas native said. "I only walked one guy, but I went to a lot of three ball counts. I just need to work on those things and I think I will be all right."

Big 12

Texas Tech Red & Black series (absolutelyobnoxious.com)
Hitting has been a key point thus far. Former Coppell Copperhead (holla!) Nick Popescu has continued the strong glovework from this summer, and is hitting .500 on the series. Freshman Barrett Barnes has done a great job putting balls done the left field line in route to a .455 average with three doubles. Fellow freshman Bo Altobelli has also shown flashes with his bat. Duke Von Schamann, another freshman, has great power potential, but needs to work on his defense at 1B if he wants to maximize his playing time.
Nebraska's Cooper home-run threat in football, too (nola.com)
Cooper appeared in 35 of Nebraska's 54 baseball games last spring and started 20 in the outfield. He batted .229 with two home runs in 70 at-bats. He said he
won't second-guess his decision.
. . .
Cooper was a surprise starter in the 31-10 loss to Texas Tech on Oct. 17. He caught three balls for 23 yards, including a 13-yarder from Cody Green for his first touchdown. He sat out last week's 9-7 loss to Iowa State with an undisclosed injury.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Aaron Crow (06-08) made his professional debut today, pitching for the Surprise Rattlers of the Arizona Fall League.
Detailed stats at MLB.com

• According to KFRU's Jet Roberts (on Tigerboard.com):
Crow walked the first batter of the game, then proceeded to retire the next eight in order before serving up a solo homerun on a line drive to right field. He was a little wild in his debut, but managed to minimize the damage. Crow's pitch count was held below 60 pitches, and his final line reads: 4 IP2 runs3 hits1 walk2 strikeouts. Fastball topped out at 94 in the 2nd inning.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Johnny Wholestaff in the World Series???

How do you beat the Yankees? Smoltz has a radical idea (Sports Illustrated)
"I'll tell you what I would do against them," Smoltz said, "and I know nobody would ever do this. I would treat it like a spring training game with my pitchers. I would keep bringing in a fresh arm to pitch to them, rather than asking my starting pitcher to go deep into the game trying to get them out two, three, four times. They just wear out a pitcher. (read more)

MU in the Minors

Crow, Scheppers Team Up in AFL (Baseball America)

Tanner Scheppers and Aaron Crow had very similar experiences after ending their college careers in 2008.

The two pitchers are now Arizona Fall League teammates with the Surprise Rafters after spending the early part of the fall with their respective organizations' instructional league teams—Scheppers with the Rangers and Crow with the Royals.
. . .
Crow was added to the Rafters roster just this weekend and is expected to make his AFL debut later in the week.
. . .
Crow believes that the experience was beneficial in that he essentially became his own pitching coach during that year after college.

Big 12

Texas Baseball Scrimmage Thoughts (BurntOrangeNaiton.com)

The strength of the 2010 team will be the deep pitching staff featuring proven arms like Chance Ruffin, Taylor Jungmann, Cole Green, and Brandon Workman, as well as newcomers like Keifer Nuncio, Josh Urban, Hoby Milner, and Paul Montalbano.
. . .
Offensively, the team should be much improved with the murderer's row of Keyes, Moldenhauer, and Rupp in the middle of the lineup. The question is how well Loy fits at the top, but he should be fine there as long as he can swing the bat consistently and draw some walks. However, the Longhorns won't be improved offensively if Maitland, Rowe, and Lusson all play together, but that shouldn't be the case, though finding an outfield rotation will remain a priority. . .

2010 Recruit: Matt Stites, RHP


Matt Stites, RHP

5'11", 170 lb, L/R
Jefferson College (StL)
Festus HS (MO)

No recent stats available

2009 1st Team All-Conference; JeffCo Pitcher of the Year

High School: All-Conference 2 years, All-District 3 years, All Metro 2 years, 2008 All-State

Led Festus American Legion team to a 6-3 finish in the 2009 American Legion Baseball World Series, posting personal 2-0 record, 2.82 ERA, 22-1/3 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 30 SO, 3 2B, 0 HR, .188 BA, 9 BB

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Mizzou Sports

Congrats to Mizzou Soccer for their regular season Big 12 Championship!!!

MU in the Majors

■ Baseball stat-guru Bill James has great expectations for Max Scherzer (04-06) in 2010, according to FutureBacks.com:

Max Scherzer (Age 25): 30 G, 30 GS, 11-9 W/L, 3.80 ERA, 180 IP, 163 H, 16 HR, 194 K, 74 BB

FakeTeams.com also likes Max, based on his showing on a list of the top 25 K/9 pitchers in 2009, with their corresponding Ground Ball ratios. Scherzer ranks 11th in K/9, with 41.8% GB.

I will move onto another pitcher whose peripherals scream that he could come cheap in 2010 drafts. That name is Max Scherzer, and he is an intriguing name, as he struck out more than 9 batters per 9 innings, and induced ground balls at a 42% clip in 2009. His LOB% was pretty low in 2009, so I expect a very solid season from Scherzer in 2010.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Compliance & Recruiting

■ Do you have questions about the National Letter of Intent? Questions about scholarship offers that accompany the National Letter of Intent?

Join Informed Athlete for their next teleseminar when they discuss the rules and processes regarding the National Letter of Intent and scholarship agreements.

This topic will be especially helpful to any high school athletes and parents who are planning to sign a National Letter of Intent during the November signing period, or during a future signing period.
Wednesday, October 28th
Time: 7 p.m. CST
To register for this FREE teleseminar, go to National Letter of Intent

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Lake County Fielders pick expansion draft players (DailyHerald.com)
The Lake County Fielders, a Northern League expansion club that will begin play next June in Zion, completed its selections in the league's dispersal draft.

"We feel we selected 12 players that have the ability to make an immediate impact on our ballclub," says field manager Fran Riordan said Thursday in a statement released by the club.
. . .
Cody Ehlers (01-04), first baseman: Ehlers spent five seasons in the New York Yankees system. He helped lead Trenton to consecutive league titles and earned league MVP honors in 2006 after leading the circuit in five offensive categories, including runs batted in, and extra base hits. He led all first basemen with a .994 fielding percentage. He hit .245 with 6 homers last year for the Goldeyes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ As noted yesterday, Baseball America has listed Missouri's current recruiting class as #23 in the country. Baseball America has some comments about the 09-10 Mizzou class:
• Recruited class "anchored by live athletes [Dane] Opel and [Blake] Brown" . . . "both should be everyday players immediately for the Tigers"

• Eric Anderson: "a diamond in the rough" ... attacks hitters with a 90-92 mph fastball and a hard slider"

• Brannon Champagne: "could lead off and play CF for the Tigers, flanked by Open and Brown"

• Jesse Santo and Eric Garcia: "strong defenders on the infield"

• Brett Nicholas: "middle of the order hitter"

• Zach Hardoin and Jeff Scardino: "mid-to-upper-80s fastballs and solid curves"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Recruiting

Missouri's incoming Fall 2009 class is ranked #23 in Baseball America's Top 25 Recruiting Classes. Other Big 12 schools on the list: #6 Texas, #16 Oklahoma. Texas A&M and Oklahoma State both lost their top 3 recruits to the June Draft.

MU in the Minors

First-rounder Crow making up for lost time (mlb.com)

Before the Royals were ready to let Crow get that stuff going, they wanted to be certain that he was physically ready. Crow was asked to go through a series of assessments before being allowed to pitch in instructional league games. While Crow was excited to be doing anything with a team again, it was a slow couple of weeks full of shoulder exercises and workouts.

"From their perspective, they wanted to make sure I was 100 percent sound," Crow said. "I could say that had stayed in shape, but they wouldn't know for sure. It's probably for the best in the long run. I'm throwing now, that's all that matters and I'm ready to keep going."
. . .
He wasn't just ready to throw, he was ready to pitch. Showing virtually no rust, Crow kicked things off with a pair of 1-2-3 innings in his first two outings. Building his stamina gradually, he pitched two innings in his final appearance.

He's been impressive on the mound, throwing his fastball in the 91-95 mph range and showing his slider and changeup. Even more impressive was his efficiency and his ability to keep the ball down in the zone.

"I think I did a good job of staying in shape," Crow said of his down time. "I wasn't facing hitters, but I was simulating. In my bullpens, I made sure I had a purpose for every pitch. I wasn't too surprised I've been able to do well so far. I'm really enjoying it, and I'm learning a lot of new things from coaches and other players."

Crow appears to be so far ahead of the Royals' expectations that they may not shut him down when instructs end on Friday. Instead, they may send the No. 12 overall pick to the Arizona Fall League to pitch more innings and see how he responds to the challenge of that advanced circuit.

"We want to make sure he feels good, his arm feels good, then maybe make four or five appearances there," Picollo said. "Nothing's been decided yet. "He goes about his business. He's a good kid, you wouldn't know if he was a first-rounder or a 45th-rounder. There's a lot of humility there. It's very refreshing and it's the attitude we're looking for."

"If I get that opportunity, it's going to be great," said Crow, who would join fellow
2009 pitching draftees Stephen Strasburg, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Drew Storen, Tanner Scheppers and Andy Oliver in the AFL.

"Seeing all those other pitchers who are really talented, facing those hitters. It should be exciting, I'd love that opportunity."

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Garret Broshuis (02-04) seems bound and determined to make someone mad at least once a week. This week it's minor league club owners, in Rock Band: Manchester Orchestra at Life in the Minors
Now I'm not saying that the affiliated teams should be on the hook for all of players' salaries. I'm not even completely convinced they should pay any of them. But they could afford to take small steps.

One step that has been suggested by players is to pay for housing. Currently, players pay for housing, and many can't afford it. This leads to the types of living situations described in my previous post. Additionally, it makes for a headache when a player moves from team to team on a moment's notice, and suddenly they have to worry about paying rent here, there, and everywhere.